Are You Meeting the Right People?

By Julian Campbell

men shaking handsWhen ever we think of the future, we make all sorts of resolutions. Some people are think of starting a new business; many are looking for ways to improve their existing business. Either way, its important to set some goals to meet the right people and be in the right place at the right time.

The best way to do this is by networking. Are you a networking junkie? What is this buzzword networking all about? We all seem to be using it today but do we really know what networking is?

Many use the word loosely to describe the breakfasts, lunches or after hours meetings they attend with a variety of organisations, where many business cards are exchanged. Is this networking? Probably not, because in most cases they never hear from those people again.

In his book "Endless Referrals", Bob Burg defines networking as "the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships".

So the key to successful networking is the same key to success in any endeavour and lies in the building of relationships. Meeting people for a few minutes and thrusting a business card at them is hardly cultivating a relationship.

Here are five pointers that may help you next time you are to go to a network meeting with people who may be potential business; Firstly, go to the meeting with a definite networking purpose in mind.

Networking Tips

  1. What do you want to achieve with your valuable time?
  2. Who would you really like to do business with?
  3. Next show a genuine interest in the other person. Ask questions and let them do all of the talking. They will love the opportunity to talk about themselves and their business, and you will learn a lot too!
  4. Then develop their trust and think of ways you can refer some business their way.
  5. Finally, follow up your initial contact quickly and regularly with phone calls, notes, emails etc.

Yes it may sound like a bit of effort is required, but isn't it better to leave each networking opportunity with two or three strong leads rather than a pocket full of business cards of people you will never hear from again? After all you have already made the effort and paid the cost to be there in the first place.

Just one further point, mix with different groups of people at the functions. Often we stay inside our comfort zones and only talk with the people we already know well. Certainly it is important to acknowledge them quickly, but then move on and do some real networking! Next time you have that networking situation, seize the moment and make friends, clients and a successful business.

Happy networking and may you develop some great contacts.

Copyright © Julian Campbell 2007

To read more of Julian's articles, return to the Articles Index

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